Subchapter 24 - ELECTRONIC OR HOME APPLIANCE SERVICE DEALERS¶
* § 20-410 Legislative declaration. It is hereby declared that the business of servicing electronic or home appliances has become the subject of great abuse. The public has been and is unprotected from unethical and financially unstable service dealers. The necessity for legislative intervention to protect the public and legitimate service dealers is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination. * NB There are 2 § 20-410's
§ 20-411 Definitions. Whenever used in this subchapter, the following terms shall mean: 1. "Person" means an individual, firm, partnership, trust, association or corporation. 2. "Complainant" means the customer of a service dealer who has complained concerning an alleged violation of this subchapter, any rule promulgated pursuant thereto, or any practice engaged in by a service dealer or any of his or her employees. 3. "Service dealer" means a person who within the city of New York: a. advertises that he or she performs repair service on electronic or home appliances, or makes public statements reasonably calculated to lead an ordinary consumer to believe that he or she performs such repair service; b. solicits or bills a customer for repair service on electronic or home appliances; c. sells service contracts or maintenance agreements for the performance of repair service on electronic or home appliances and accepts requests for such repair service under such service contracts or maintenance agreements; d. accepts requests for repair service or receives electronic or home appliances for the performance of repair service; or e. provides, as part of a sales transaction, repair service, including repair service performed by the seller, subcontractor, or other service repairer; provided, however, that the term "service dealer" shall apply to a manufacturer of electronic or home appliances only when such manufacturer acting as a retailer engages in any of the activities described in this subdivision. 4. "Repair service" or "repair servicing" means the installation, maintenance, repair, replacement, testing, inspection or modification for compensation, other consideration or under a warranty, of electronic or home appliances. 5. "Electronic or home appliance" means any electronic device, or any appliance, that is commonly used in a household, including, but not limited to, televisions, radios, stereo systems, compact disc players, home computer systems, telephones, telephone answering machines, satellite dishes, cameras, calculators, video recorders or players, camcorders or other portable video recording devices, cassette recorders or players, facsimile machines, portable photocopiers, air conditioners, clothes washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, food freezers, refrigerators, stoves, ranges, ovens, microwave ovens or sewing machines. 6. "Service repairer" means a person who performs repair service on electronic or home appliances.
§ 20-412 License required; fingerprinting. 1. No person shall represent or hold himself or herself out to be, or engage in business as, a service dealer, unless duly licensed pursuant to this subchapter. 2. The commissioner shall require that applicants for licenses issued pursuant to this subchapter be fingerprinted for the purpose of securing criminal history records from the state division of criminal justice services. The applicant shall pay a processing fee as required by the state division of criminal justice services. Fingerprints shall be taken of the individual owner if the applicant is a sole proprietorship; the general partners if the applicant is a partnership; and the officers, principals, directors, and stockholders owning more than ten percent of the outstanding stock of the corporation if the applicant is a corporation. Any person required to be fingerprinted hereunder shall furnish to the department three current passport-sized photographs of such person. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the commissioner need not require applicants for licenses required under this subchapter to be fingerprinted if criminal history records concerning such applicants are not available from the state division of criminal justice services.
§ 20-413 Licenses generally. No license shall be issued or renewed unless the applicant or licensee is of good moral character and complies with all requirements governing the operation of the affected business which the commissioner prescribes by regulation.
§ 20-414 Fees. The biennial fee for a license or a renewal thereof shall be three hundred and forty dollars.
§ 20-417 Duties of licensees. 1. All work done by a service dealer shall be recorded on an invoice which shall contain the license number and such other detail as may be required by regulations promulgated by the commissioner. The invoice shall fully, separately and clearly describe all service work performed, all parts supplied, the date or dates thereof, and all charges made and the computations thereof. One copy of the invoice shall be delivered to the customer and one copy shall be retained by the service dealer for a period of at least three years from the date of such delivery. 2. The service dealer shall return all replaced parts to the customer, except such parts as may be exempted from this requirement by regulations of the commissioner and except such parts as the service dealer requires for return to the manufacturer or distributor under a warranty arrangement. 3. The service dealer shall comply with regulations promulgated by the commissioner setting forth requirements for estimates or the making of such estimates and shall inform the customer as to the cost thereof prior to rendering same. 4. A service dealer shall not make the remuneration, salary, wage, or other compensation of any employee, partner, officer or member contingent or dependent upon, or in any manner determined by the value, price, quantity or type of parts replaced, upon any apparatus serviced or repaired by any person required to be licensed by this subchapter. 5. A service dealer shall maintain such additional records as are required by regulations adopted by the commissioner to carry out the provisions of this subchapter. Such records shall be open and available for reasonable inspection by the commissioner or other law enforcement officials, and shall be kept for a period of three years.
§ 20-418 Regulations. The commissioner shall make such regulations as deemed necessary for the proper implementation and enforcement of this subchapter.
§ 20-419 License denial; right to hearing. No license may be denied for failure to meet any requirement established by this subchapter or by the commissioner without a hearing.
§ 20-420 Issuance, renewal, revocation and suspension of license; fines. In addition to any powers of the commissioner, and not in limitation thereof, a license required pursuant to this subchapter may be suspended or revoked or issuance or renewal thereof denied by the commissioner, and the licensee may be fined pursuant to subdivision e of section 20-104 of chapter one of this title, upon a determination made by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee after due notice and hearing, that an applicant or a licensee, any of its principals, officers or directors, or any of its stockholders owning more than ten percent of the outstanding stock of the corporation: (a) has practiced fraud or misrepresentation upon a customer; (b) has practiced fraud or misrepresentation in establishing his or her qualifications for a license under this subchapter; (c) has aided or abetted another in practicing fraud or misrepresentation upon a customer or in establishing qualifications for a license under this subchapter; (d) has engaged in or has aided or abetted another in engaging in untrue, misleading or deceptive advertising, or unlawful selling practices as defined by the laws of this state, municipality or other local governmental unit within which such advertising or practices occurred; (e) is incompetent or untrustworthy and is thereby unfit to discharge the responsibilities of a licensee; (f) has failed upon request to render to the customer an itemized bill, in writing, containing such details as may be required by the rules of the department; (g) has been convicted of a crime which, in the judgment of the commissioner, has a direct relationship to such person's fitness or ability to perform any of the activities for which a license is required under this subchapter or has been convicted of any other crime which, in accordance with article twenty-three-a of the correction law, would provide a justification for the commissioner to refuse to issue or renew, or to suspend or revoke, such license; (h) has violated any of the provisions of this title, subchapter or the rules promulgated thereunder, or has knowingly caused, permitted, aided or abetted another in committing such violation.
§ 20-421 Informal adjustment of complaints. 1. The commissioner shall receive complaints from the public against any person issued a license pursuant to this subchapter. 2. The commissioner shall make a summary investigation of the facts. 3. After investigation, the commissioner may advise the licensee of the contents of the complaint and may recommend measures that would compensate the complainant for any damages suffered as a result of the conduct of the licensee or make recommendations which otherwise may reasonably dispose of the complaint. If the licensee accepts the commissioner's recommendations and performs accordingly, such fact shall be given due consideration in any subsequent disciplinary proceedings instituted by the commissioner. If the licensee declines to accept the recommendations of the commissioner and to perform accordingly, the commissioner may investigate further or may institute a departmental hearing with respect to the complaint, and may thereafter require the licensee to make proper restitution to the complainant and may also take such disciplinary action as provided in this subchapter. 4. If the licensee accepts the recommendations of the commissioner and is willing to perform accordingly, but the complainant refuses to accept such recommendations, the commissioner shall not be required to take further action with respect to the complaint.
§ 20-422 Powers and duties of the commissioner. 1. In addition to any other powers of the commissioner, and not in limitation thereof, the commissioner shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this subchapter, to investigate any violation thereof, and to investigate the business, business practices and business methods of any person who is or may be subject to this subchapter, if in the opinion of the commissioner, such investigation is warranted. Each person shall be obliged upon the request of the commissioner, to supply such information as may be required concerning the business, business practices or business methods or the proposed business practices or business methods. 2. For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this subchapter and in conducting investigations relating to any violation thereof, and for the purpose of investigating the character, competence and integrity of any person who is or may be subject to this subchapter, and the business, business practices and business methods thereof, the commissioner, or commissioner's designee shall have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and records, in accordance with the provisions of the civil practice law and rules. However, no information supplied by any person at the request of the commissioner concerning his or her business, business practices or business methods, or proposed business practices or methods shall be disclosed, except as may be necessary for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this subchapter. 3. The commissioner may establish and properly equip an electronic or home appliance laboratory for the purpose of testing the competence and integrity of licensed service dealers, whenever complaints against such licensees would indicate the necessity or advisability for such testing, and such laboratory may be further used in the necessary investigations that may be conducted by the commissioner in connection with the proper administration and enforcement of the provisions of this subchapter and the rules adopted thereunder.
§ 20-423 Review. The provisions of article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules shall be applicable to this subchapter.
§ 20-424 Exceptions. This subchapter shall not apply to any of the following: 1. the government of the United States or any department or agency thereof; 2. any school, public or private, offering as part of a vocational education program, courses and training in repair service and the instructors and teachers thereof; provided the exclusion granted herein shall be applicable only to repair service rendered in and as part of a regularly constituted vocational education program and when such repair service is not offered to the public for compensation or other consideration.